We would like to have several (3-4) chimes activated from a single doorbell
button. What would the best way to do this.
The searches I have done talk about a more powerful transformer, but no
specific wiring instructions.
Aside from needing a transformer powerful enough for the additional chimes,
you need to run wires in parallel to each chime. Essentially in the existing
chime you have three terminals - Front-Trans- Rear, you need to run wires
from each of those terminals to the matching terminals on your additional
Thanks for the information, I will give that a try. I had tried something
close to this, but it didn't work.
As for the power of the transformer, what I see at the HD is that most all
run ate 16V and one has a tri-volt 8-16-24V. The two 16V units come in 10W
or 15W respectively. Not sure about the watts on the tri-volt unit, as I
could not find any information on the packaging. Do I want more volts or
watts? My assumption is that the units work on a given voltage, and the
watts will give me the additional power I need.
Another thought I had was to use multiple transformers and split the wire
coming from the doorbell to two+ separate transformers that will in turn go
to their respective chimes.
You are correct, you want the voltage to remain 16 and the amperage to
increase. I am not sure what wattage or VA is required for the units you
want to use, but you can wire additional transformers in parallel as well,
which will increase the amperage but not the voltage "DL"
The suggestion to use two separate transformers is good one.
1) But only if they are of identical voltage could their outputs be placed
directly in parallel to increase the power (wattage) available.
Other wise one could feed into the other all the time and possibly cause
overheating. Even a small voltage difference could cause problems.
'Bell/chime' transformers are basically lightly designed for very
intermittent use so this would be very undesirable!
2) However it sounds as though it might be possible to have two separate
circuits with one transformer serving each chime; with the front door push
button completing the the circuit from both.
Although this also 'parallels' the transformers in a manner of speaking, it
does it through the two chime units (in series). The rated output voltage of
the two transformers however should still be be as close to identical as
possible. For eaxample if one transformer was, say 16 volts and the other
only 12 volts there would be, with arrangement #2 the difference of four (4)
volts '16 - 12 = 4, or a difference of twenty eight (28) 16 + 12 = 28. The
former might make the chime units at least 'buzz' or vibrate at a low level
all the time. The latter would operate them continuously!
There are some more complicated 'series' circuits, putting both transformer
outputs and chimes all in series with the door push that one could suggest.
Simplest if one is not electrically proficient, is get a bigger
transformer! But try the single one first; since it's a very intermittent
operation, how often IS your door bell rung daily? The existing transformer
may be adequate! the only trnsformer I've replaced was burnt out by being on
continuously for several months by a door push that 'stuck IN!
Thanks for the information,
As I stated to RBM, in relation to the transformer, what I see at the HD is
that most all run ate 16V and one has a tri-volt 8-16-24V. The two 16V
units come in 10W or 15W respectively. Not sure about the watts on the
tri-volt unit, as I could not find any information on the packaging. Do I
want more volts or watts? My assumption is that the units work on a given
voltage, and the watts will give me the additional power I need.
Again from my response to RBM, another thought I had was to use multiple
transformers and split the wire coming from the doorbell to two+ separate
transformers that will in turn go to their respective chimes.
As I know, the trannies are 24V and there are few different sizes.
Bigger and heavier has more capacity in general. If you go to a supply
house and tell them what you need, you can get what you need. My chime
is an old motor driven Westminster gong. Regular tranny can't even turn
the motor. Or other way is going wireless.
Do you mean you want to have several locations inside you home that
chime when the existing door bell is pressed, or do you want to have several
buttons at the door that can ring different chimes?
Assuming you want to ring several chimes from one button there are two
approaches. One is to provide several conventional chimes where you want
them and then using a transformer rated high enough to meet the power
requirements for all the chimes added together and you will need some
heavier wires (or a relay) to the switch. This is likely to be the most
trouble free system, although you may find your self replacing that button a
little more often than normal.
The other solution is high tech. The new wireless or X-10 systems will
allow you a lot more flexibility but more complexity. Try :
for one source. Many of the same products will be available locally.
I want to be able to have one button ring multiple chimes, one in the foyer,
one in the basement family room, one in my workshop, one at the back of the
house in our kitchen area.
I hadn't thought about the X-10 option, so I will look into that. Had
considered it for video though.
I will try the parallel wiring the other posters suggested first, and then
look into an X-10 solution.
Do you have an intercom system? If so, an electronic chime can be
connected to sound through some or all of the speakers. If you have a
Nutone system they even make a module for this.
If you elect to go with the "upgrade the transformer route" look for
the VA rating of the transformer (typically 16 VA for small doorbell
You will need to replace this with a similar transformer (at the same
output voltage) with a higher VA rating of 48 or so. You may need to
order this item through an electrical supply company, instead of the
local hardware store.
This higher VA rated bell transformers are typically used in apartment
buildings with the runs are longer and all the units are connected to
the same power supply.
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